News / Middle East

Tensions Escalate Between US, Israel Over Iran Nuclear Talks

Tensions Escalate Between US, Israel Over Iran Nuclear Talksi
X
November 22, 2013 12:07 AM
The U.S. alliance with Israel is being strained by deep disagreements over a possible deal with Iran regarding that country’s controversial nuclear program. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Meredith Buel
The U.S. alliance with Israel is being strained by deep disagreements over a possible deal with Iran regarding that country’s controversial nuclear program. 

It was just eight months ago that President Barack Obama visited Israel.  It was the first foreign trip of his second term - designed to improve relations with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, which have been stressed over the Palestinian conflict.

But now the two men are at serious odds again - this time over nuclear negotiations with Iran.

Benjamin Netanyahu:

"It's clear that this agreement is good only for Iran, and that it's really bad for the rest of the world.  Iran's dream deal is the world's nightmare," he said.

Israel is concerned Iran is too close to building a bomb - and wants its nuclear capabilities rolled back. Iran says its program is peaceful, and the U.S. is pressing international diplomacy to resolve the dispute.

Dennis Ross, a former senior advisor on Iran to President Obama, sees merits in Israel's position.

“Even if you are slowing the clock or freezing it, you are freezing it at a level that basically is unacceptable.  Because that level would allow the Iranians to have a break out capability and you are not reversing the program," said Ross.

The U.S. stance has also angered another key ally in the region: Saudi Arabia.  In what analysts see as an unprecedented development, Israel and many Sunni Arab nations are aligned in their concerns about Iran.

Adam Ereli, a Middle East expert and former U.S. Ambassador to Bahrain, says this puts the U.S. in a delicate position.

“Let’s not forget our close and steadfast and important allies in the region who not only rely on us, but who we rely on for our national security," said Ereli.

Israel has threatened to bomb Iran if it gets too close to making a nuclear weapon, despite U.S. efforts to tone down the harsh rhetoric.  Analysts don’t believe Israel will attack during negotiations between world powers and Iran.

But analyst Robert Satloff says Israel's impatience is growing.

“I think the likelihood of Israeli military action against Iran has gone way up," said Satloff.

Satloff says the current Israeli government feels it has been left out in the cold.

That could have a negative impact on the Middle East peace process, which the U.S. is spearheading.

“And that is because the crisis of confidence between the United States and Israel will have an impact on this diplomacy," said Satloff.

Looking away from the U.S., Netanyahu has met with the Presidents of France and Russia to appeal for tough terms on a nuclear accord with Iran.

Despite the deep disagreements with Netanyahu., Secretary of State John Kerry says the Obama administration will not let down its key ally.

“We believe deeply in our commitment to Israel, deeply, " said Kerry.

Kerry says the United States will not accept any deal that allows Iran to buy time to increase its nuclear capability and further threaten Israel.

You May Like

Cambodia Seeks Official UN Maps for Vietnam Border

Notice of request comes as 2 countries open border talks Tuesday after a clash last month More

From South Africa to Vietnam, Cyclists Deliver Message Against Rhino Horns

Appalled by poaching they saw firsthand, sisters embark on tour to raise awareness in countries where rhino horn products are in demand More

Uber Wants Johannesburg Police Protection

Request follows recent protests outside ride-hailing service's Johannesburg office More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Implant Could Help Restore Movement to Paralyzed Limbsi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
Maia Pujara
July 07, 2015 10:01 PM
A half-million people suffer spinal cord injuries each year because of car accidents, serious falls and diseases, according to the World Health Organization. Researchers are now working on a soft but strong spinal cord implant that could one day restore movement in paralyzed individuals. VOA’s Maia Pujara reports.
Video

Video New Implant Could Help Restore Movement to Paralyzed Limbs

A half-million people suffer spinal cord injuries each year because of car accidents, serious falls and diseases, according to the World Health Organization. Researchers are now working on a soft but strong spinal cord implant that could one day restore movement in paralyzed individuals. VOA’s Maia Pujara reports.
Video

Video Getting it Done Beyond a Nuclear Deal

If a nuclear deal is reached between Iran and world powers in Vienna, it will be a highly technical road map to be used to monitor nuclear activity in Iran for years to come to ensure Tehran does not make nuclear weapons. Equally as complicated will be dismantling international sanctions that were originally intended to be ironclad. VOA’s Heather Murdock talks to experts about the key challenges any deal will present.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.

VOA Blogs